Breland: Keeping up with technology is for the kids

Published 12:49 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

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Typing on my computer, I growl at the thought I could never make a living as a computer programmer or technician, because I am probably the most un-mechanical person alive! If pressed, I might come up with one or two other people who could be worse off than me, but that’s beside the point!

Anything that is complicated and also mechanical may just drive me crazy! Fixing these things is not my thing — never has been. Don’t hand me a screwdriver and say, “fix it!”

It has nothing to do with intelligence, I think, just a case of abstract-thinking, which I apparently don’t do very well. I see lots of people who can fix simple things and they don’t seem to be all that bright otherwise, so it has to be a talent of a left-side-of-the-brain-thing or something.

For many, many (and I mean many) years I have operated a computer, and changed along with the modern technological changes — but that is something anybody with a manual or a good teacher can probably do. I have made it fairly well operating my cell phone, which in my opinion does way too many things.

I do find some of these newer “techno” changes a little harder to understand by my aging brain — computer and other things as well. Things can get so complicated! I am amazed at the dreamed-up mind-boggling things that enter our lifestyles without warning! It is hard to keep up!

Putting aside the cell phone (a story all by itself) and the computer and their many uses, look at the changes in television. In times way past, we would purchase a television set, hook it up to an outside antenna, put it on one of three channels and be free to view the news of the world.

I remember my grandchildren asking if I had a television when I grew up. They could not understand why I didn’t! Saying there was no such thing then, didn’t make much sense. A world without televisions? They could not imagine.

Now televisions are also very complicated. Antennas are still there for purchase, but we hardly ever see one. Many TVs are hooked up to a cable system — which seems in the process of fading out — or to satellite broadcasting networks, for which we pay on a monthly basis — taken automatically from our checking account at the bank. Computer-wise of course!

Still, all that is pretty simple, even with the multitudes of channels now available to watch. One can set cell phones to watch TV while they are away from their set. Getting more complicated all the time.

My son, a professional computer person, fixes me up with the latest things and then explains the operations. Phone, computer and television. Getting used to operating something called a Fire Stick on the TV, has been a hurdle. So many things to click on to find something I want to watch. Sometimes he writes simple instructions. It helps.

We live in a fast-moving age. If you find yourself trying hard to learn many or all of these new things and countless others, don’t let it get you down. Technology moves fast! By the time you learn one thing, something else will pop up to be learned.

Don’t think you will just stay with all the old things and not change anything — not possible! Sooner or later it will wear out or wear away and not be replaceable. Don’t throw away those techno-marvel equipment items in learning desperation! There are those who can keep up with all this stuff besides technology people.

My 2-year-old great-granddaughter and 3-year-old great-grandson are whizzes with their Kindle readers. Surprising what kids can learn! If desperate, call the grandchildren! This is their bright time in this brilliant burst of life called technology!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at